Esterification Lab Report

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The esterification reaction shown above occurs when a carboxylic acid reacts with an alcohol and an acid catalyst to form an ester. In this experiment, the acid catalyst used was phosphoric acid. In order to initiate the reaction, the carboxylic acid anhydride attacks a proton on phosphoric acid. Then a bond is formed when the alcohol attacks the oxygen-carbon double bond of the carboxylic acid anhydride. As a result, two electrons from the double bond are “kicked-out” onto the oxygen barring the positive charge and proton. To produce the final product, the remaining carboxylic acid anhydride functional group is “kicked-off” by the positive barring oxygen receiving two electrons. This forms a carboxylic acid in the products. Due to the fact that the acid catalyst is not consumed in the reaction, the negatively charged oxygen on phosphoric acid reacts to grab the…show more content…
The oxygen then moves two lone pair electrons in to form a double bond. This produces a benzene ring with a carboxylic acid anhydride functional group and a carboxylic acid off of the 1 and 2 carbons. The results in the tables shown above determine the purity of the final product of the experiment, salicylic acid crystals. Table 1 provides the weights of salicylic acid prior to filtration and after crystallization. The reason why the initial weight of salicylic acid, prior to filtration, weighted much more than the crystals was due to the fact that it contained impurities. During the process of vacuum filtration, the impurities of the reaction product were filtered out. Some of the impurities were removed by dissolving in water

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